Unfortunate names (was Scunthorpe)

Rebecca Ganetzky rganetzk at oberlin.edu
Wed Apr 30 21:56:14 EDT 2003

I attended high school with a student of Asian origin (I believe 
Hmong) whose full name was Dang Her.  When he was absent my P.E. 
teacher, who was, in short, a bad person (for many other reasons) 
would scream his name as an exclamation during attendance, 
occasionally pointing at female students.

>My major professor in grad school claimed that his first Vietnamese 
>student had an _extremely_ unfortunate name for anybody entering an 
>English-speaking university. On the first day of registration, he 
>said, he called the boy in and went through a long rigmarole about 
>respecting other people's cultures and languages but gently pointed 
>out that some Texas students were not all that enlightened and he 
>might want to choose a different name to use while he was living 
>here. Whereupon the student looked up brightly and said, "Oh, that's 
>all right, Professor DeCamp. My name isn't Ph'uc, it's Ph^uc!"
>Margaret Ball
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Rebecca D. Ganetzky
"...and do not say that a thing is impossible to understand, for 
eventually it will be understood."-Rabbi Hillel
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